Ideation

Created with Sketch.

Stop putting it off. Build and launch your video website today!

Start Free Trial
Peri Elmokadem

Written By

Peri Elmokadem

Peri is the content marketing manager at Uscreen. She writes to teach the world about the ways of video monetization. She’s also a visual artist, traveller and dog lover (although she’s starting to warm up to cats).

Brainstorming Your Niche Idea for Your Video Business

This lesson of coming up with your best video business idea will guide you through the process of brainstorming a bunch of ideas to find the perfect one. Throughout Video Business School, we don’t give you specific timelines to get something done by – except in this section. Plan to do your brainstorming over the course of one week – no more, no less.

Don’t worry, we don’t mean all the hours of a week! Total time contributed to brainstorming your business idea will not be more than two hours or so. More on that to come.   

While brainstorming, no idea is too silly or weak to go on the list. You will filter through them at the end of the week anyway, so be free and unrestricted. It is, however, important to know where to look to find that top-notch idea (you’ll find it right around the money is in this diagram):

How to brainstorm effectively

The best way to find that sweet spot is by separately listing everything you’re good at (expertise), everything you love (passions) and, the things you think people want and need (demand). Lay them out then find the ones that intersect at that spot.

Here’s the process:

  1. Start off by spending an hour on your first day of brainstorming, writing down anything and everything you can think of. Then step away from it and let your creative juices flow as you carry on with your day.
  2. Since you will have gotten the ball rolling on that first day, you’ll likely find things coming to you as you drive, shower, workout or cook – so keep that ongoing list you made accessible at all times to add to it at any point.
  3. Dedicate two more 20-minute sessions throughout the week to sit down and conjure up more ideas, especially if nothing seemed to come to you when you weren’t paying attention.

Hot Tip:

When in the process of subconscious brainstorming, your smartphone is your best friend! Create notes and send yourself voice note messages when inspiration strikes. Get the idea down as quickly as you can! When an idea sits too long in our heads without being recorded in some way, it usually loses its essence and spark and goes away. So get it down ASAP and add the details later if need be.

Now that you know how you’re going to brainstorm, it’s time to understand what you’ll need to be looking for and where to look. Here are the three elements from the Venn diagram above, explained.

Expertise: what you’re good at

You’re already good at stuff, so why not start there.

Think of your job, which you already know how to do better than the average person (seeing as how someone is already paying you to do it for them). How can your current skills and knowledge benefit other people?

For instance, if your a financial advisor, create a “Be Your Own Financial Advisor” educational recourse VOD website promising your audience the outcome of being able to independently plan their own short-term and long-term financial goals.

If you’re a high school Spanish teacher, consider creating a “Learn to Speak Spanish in X Days” educational show that’ll train students to communicate in Spanish.

Another aspect of your life to consider exploring ideas would be your hobbies. What do you do during your free time? If you write and perform stand-up jokes for fun, create “How to Write Jokes for the Stage” video content, or start your independent online stand-up comedy sketch series.   

Finally, don’t forget the things that you know how to do but that are neither your job nor your hobby. For instance, have you taught yourself how to speed read? Did you recently adopt a chemical-free lifestyle? These are all things you can teach other people to passively generate income online.  

Whatever it is you know a lot about or know how to do, you can share it and make money doing so.

Passion: what you love

If you’re a financial advisor who hates helping people plan for their future, then maybe that “Be Your Own Financial Advisor” course isn’t the idea to go for. It’s hard to passionately deliver something you’re not passionate about, and a lack of enthusiasm about the topic will kill your videos’ potential to sell.

Find out what it is you are passionate about. Nothing is too small, weird or random to consider. Whatever it is you’re into, there are always people who will be interested to consume video content about it.

Lesson 3 of this unit will help you determine if that demand is high enough to monetize, but for now, consider everything.

Example: Magic Stream is an online training center lead by passionate magicians for passionate magicians. “If Netflix did Magic”, they call it. It educates viewers on different magic techniques, covering sleight of hand, mentalism, visual magic, coin magic, and more. At the time of writing this, Magic Stream has over 6000 subscribers paying $12.99 a month –  if it weren’t for how passionate those magicians are about creating a community around the art of magic and illusion, it would be hard to get that many people to sign up and pay for this content on a monthly basis.

Magic Stream is also an example of how no idea is too small, weird or random to be a successful niche topic for a video business. “Let’s teach and inspire people about magic,” they said, and they are.

Demand: what people want and need

If no one cares about your niche topic, then this is all pointless (obvi!).

A good video content concept is one that either:

  1. Solves a problem people actually have (educational or informational)
  2. Entertains and inspires people (inspirational)
  3. Does both a and b

Demand is the most important aspect to consider – because no matter what you do, you can’t make people want to consume content they simply don’t want to consume.

Lesson 3 of this guide will go more in-depth about researching topic demand and will guide you through validating your idea based on what people are looking for.

For now, do some light browsing and keep your audience in the back of your head – in a put-yourself-in-their-shoes kind of way.

While brainstorming video ideas that people want and need, ask yourself: If I were someone who [insert your defining characteristic e.g. loves traveling ]

  • What problems would I be looking to fix?
  • What would make me inspired to do more of what I love?
  • What new skill(s) would help me develop?
  • What knowledge gaps would I be trying to bridge?
  • What challenges would I want to overcome?

This thought process will help you zero in on your niche.

Example: Rachel Renert is an artist and illustrator who has been selling her knowledge online through Uscreen. Instead of creating a general and diluted art class, she realized that a lot of people had trouble understanding and applying color theory. So she decided to make that her niche: a “Coloring Master Class” that tackles the question “how do I color?”.

If you know the general area in which you want to create video content for (because it’s your profession, hobby or both) but can’t figure out what problems people are facing, you can do some simple market research to figure that out – nothing too intense yet! Search Subreddits related to the topic and browse questions with the most upvotes. Join relevant and active Facebook groups and find trends, common questions and struggles people are often discussing.

Hot Tip:

Think of ideas you can build an online community around. We’ve found that VOD businesses that start and grow a community around their topic are twice as likely to succeed. People love feeling like they’re a part of a group of people with similar interests.

When you’re done with your one week of brainstorming, it’s time to stop and move on to lesson 3, validation. But before you do that, you need to filter through your current list and narrow them down to a maximum of three ideas to start with. Those three ideas each need to have all three components of the Venn diagram above: expertise, passion, and demand (the star).

It’s important to keep your selection of ideas that make it to lesson 3 to a maximum of three, so pick your top three favorites. This will help you go through the validation process more focused. If you have more than three ideas that you think have potential, keep them on the backburner. You might have to circle back to them after lesson 3. Or you might use them to create another course in the future. Always keep your brainstorming byproducts.

Lesson 3:

Validating

Go to Lesson 3